Ankica Simcisin

Early Learning and Child Care – certificate

New country brings new opportunities for NorQuest grad

Seven years ago, Ankica Simcisin took her husband’s advice and enrolled in NorQuest College’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. But it took some convincing.

“It meant a long commute from home,” explains the 49-year-old immigrant from the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. “I wanted to find something closer, but my husband, a former NorQuest student, insisted on it.”

Today, she is extremely thankful for following his lead. Although learning a new language and fitting into a new culture was challenging at first, she quickly found her footing. In May 2008, after one month in the LINC program, Simcisin was offered a job as a library assistant by Westmount campus library tech Connie Vogler. This job proved to be a life-changing opportunity.

“That’s when I really felt I had come home,” says Simcisin of her library assistant job. “I always loved the library and spent a lot of time there. To this day I still don’t know why Connie chose me, but it was a wonderful experience.”

After completing the LINC program in August of 2008, Simcisin returned to NorQuest in January 2009 to complete her Level 1 child care certification, which she finished in May of that year.

This great experience gained at NorQuest motivated her to look for a job where she could provide the similar support and encouragement to others. Simcisin started to work as an assistant at Care for Newcomer Children (CNC), which is a part of the Edmonton Catholic Schools LINC program where she currently works. At the same time she is pursuing an online Early Learning and Child Care diploma.

She feels fulfilled at her job, which lets her provide the same type of encouragement and support she once received from the LINC program at NorQuest College. “NorQuest will always be a second family to me,” she says. “The support and sense of community I felt at the college is something I’ll never forget.”

NorQuest will always be a second family to me. The support and sense of community I felt at the college is something I’ll never forget.